Ready to Get On the Road Again

3 May

We’ve been home for two weeks and I am busy planning our next adventure! Italian customs and airport security were a snap. The US customs in Chicago wasn’t difficult but tiring. We needed to do the wander through the movable fence path in three separate areas. The custom’s agents asked the same questions while they looked at our passport and required bad additional photo documents (taken at the 1st stop in the set of lines.) Harry got frustrated because the “lines” were only had a few people in them but we still needed to do the back and forth weave. The only rude person was the TSA agent who demanded that I give Harry his passport and ticket rather than having me present him with both sets.  I really hate flying but the airplane food was better than I expected. I can’t remember the last time I had an airplane meal that I didn’t need to buy separately. A 10 hour flight produced 2 meals that worked.

Our next trip will be a road trip in our “new” Roadtrek camper van. I spent our first week back in serious online shopping for a newer van. Our 1990 has served us well but Harry wanted a slightly different layout and I wanted to update the systems. I had been shopping since the 1st of the year but hadn’t found the right combination of age, miles and body style. Because new Roadtrek vans cost $125,000 plus, we were looking in the 2001 to 2003 range for something in our budget. The ones I found often did not have a back door which is important to us. Ones with the back door often had 100,000 miles or more or were out of our budget range at over $30,000. I had found one on eBay that jumped out of our bidding price in the last hour of bidding. It was located close enough that we were okay with not seeing the van before we closed the deal but eBay for that type of purchase is not our comfort zone.

We decided on a Craig’s list 1998 Roadtrek with a backdoor in Harry’s body style in Lubbock, TX. It has 68,000 miles which is double the miles on our 1990 when we bought it 14 years ago. We paid $12,000 for each of them so we think the deal was okay. Even if the van requires some work after its trip to the mechanic this next week, we will still be way below the book value on that year and model. The only bad part about the transaction was the drive to and from Lubbock in a wind and sand storm. I’ve driven through white outs in snow but never in sand before. The plan for our first trip is to Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas. Hope we don’t have another sand storm. I’ve worked all week to get the sand out of the van from our trip home!


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